‘Snowtember’, a year of recovery and building resiliency in our urban forest
This week marks one year since a devastating snowstorm damaged 50 per cent of Calgary’s urban canopy, sparking an intensive response and recovery effort. As part of this recovery, The City of Calgary will plant approximately 3,600 additional trees, above and beyond the 5,000 annually planted. To date, 6,619 trees have been planted with more planned through the fall and more than 64,000 trees have been assessed and/or pruned, with a goal of reaching 80,000 by the end of this year.
“The magnitude of damage to Calgary’s trees from last year’s storm was unprecedented, and it will take years to fully recover,” says Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary. “Over one million trees in our city were damaged. The City has been working hard all year to plant and prune trees on public property while also sharing with citizens what they can do to help their own damaged trees.”
To commemorate ‘Snowtember’ The City will plant two trees at St. Jerome School, the Arbour Day school for 2016. This will be the first time Arbour Day will kick-off at the beginning of the school year as part of The City of Calgary’s move to increase engagement and education around the urban forest and meet one of Council’s priorities for a healthy and green city. Since 1905, Arbour Day has been celebrated in Calgary to honour the importance of trees and green spaces
“We were very happy to partner with the Arbour Day school because we see it as the perfect fit,” says Nico Bernard, Manager of the ReTree YYC program for the City of Calgary. “In addition to the recovery efforts one of our goals is to create a resilient urban forest and part of building that resiliency is through education.”
This is just one way that The City is helping share tree recovery and educational information with Calgarians. For more information including upcoming events visit calgary.ca/trees.
In September 2014, a late-summer snowstorm impacted Calgary’s urban forest. Trees that had not yet lost their leaves were heavily weighed down by snow, causing trunks and branches to break. It is estimated that this storm damaged 50 per cent of the urban canopy in Calgary. ReTree YYC is multi-year programs that will also focus on educating Calgarians about the importance of the urban forest and how to care for their own trees.